Current Affairs Move to US professional league dream come true for Czech woman footballer

19-02-2003 | Ian Willoughby

Pavlina Scasna has been playing football since she was a little girl, and is now about to realise a life-long dream by joining a club in the home of women's soccer, the United States. The move follows a year and a half in the German league, where Pavlina - who is 20 years old - was the top scorer. Pavlina Scasna comes from a football family: her brother Michal plays for Czech club Viktoria Zizkov and her father Zdenek is a well-known coach. She recalls how, when she was a football-crazy young girl, her father tried to persuade her to play a more "appropriate" sport.

Pavlina ScasnaPavlina Scasna "He wanted my brother to be a soccer player and for me to do something else. He wanted me to do tennis or something else, but now he's satisfied that I play soccer as well."

Soon you're going to America to join Philadelphia Charge. Will you be the first Czech woman player in the American league?

"Yes, exactly, I am the first Czech football player to go there. I am very lucky that I will go there. It was my dream and I am very happy that I will join Philadelphia Charge."

Is it a university team, or is it semi-professional - what kind of a club is it?

"No, it's a professional team. I had some offers from university teams but after taking SATs I got a call from a coach from Philadelphia Charge and he told me that they were interested in me joining their team. I agreed with the terms and I will join from next season, from March."

In the Czech men's football league crowds aren't very big - you get two or three thousand people going to games. Is it the case that you will play to bigger crowds in America?

"Yes, of course. It's a dream for all football players, for men and women as well. In Europe it's normal that a lot of spectators come to see men's teams, but women are a little bit behind them. In the Czech Republic it's very, very bad with women's football, because about 100 people go."

And in America how many? Five thousand?

"In America I've heard around 7,000, 10,000 and about 15,000 can come to exhibition games. So it's a little bit different (laughs), it's very different. And I'm looking forward to seeing this atmosphere."

So your brother will play for Viktoria Zizkov in front of 4,000 people and you will play every week in front of 8,000 people?

"(laughs) Yes, I hope so."

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